x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

UAE bids to host IRENA headquarters

Officials have travelled to Korea to put in a bid to host the headquarters of an international agency devoted to renewable energy.

UAE officials have travelled to Korea to put in a bid to host the headquarters of an international agency devoted to renewable energy. A founding member of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) that was launched in January, the UAE has campaigned for the base to be in Masdar City, which is being built on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi and will rely entirely on solar power and renewable energy.

IRENA would have the full backing of the UAE Government if it decided to come to Abu Dhabi, Dr Anwar Gargash, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, told WAM, the state news agency. "Placing IRENA in the UAE will also send a strong signal to the international community that we are serious about sharing the technology and know-how of renewables with all countries, both developed and developing," Dr Gargash said.

The delegation to Korea last week was led by Sultan al Jaber, the chief executive of Masdar. Korea is heading the selection process. IRENA is modelled on the Paris-based International Energy Agency. The UAE is expected to compete against Austria, Germany and Denmark for the base, which will be voted on by the group's 78 members in Egypt on June 29. cstanton@thenational.ae